In the Author's Note to Moon Pennsylvania Camping, Jason and I wrote,
"Green plateaus protruding through a dense fog. Pink and white laurel petals falling into a clear, cool stream. Rushing rivers spilling through a mountain gorge. These are the images that welcome us back to Pennsylvania after we've been away for too long. And when we hit the trail again, inhaling the scent of fallen pine needles and air charged with the mists of cascades, we know we are home.
A thousand times we've felt the pull of wanderlust, and a thousand times we've driven into the ancient Appalachians and been reminded why we couldn't leave. Our forests and wilderness areas are the fuel that keep us running."
Though we offered this sentiment for the entire state, especially after our extensive travels in 2005 throughout Pennsylvania to gather experiences and photographs for our guide, we admit that our small corner of PA with its borders along West Virginia and Maryland were the images we held in our minds as the book went to press.
Here, the flowing waters of the Youghiogheny River and Meadow Run serve in an oxymoronic capacity to soothe and energize at once, as if the errant electrons passing from the water to us replace any stagnant air, thoughts, and emotions with fresh perspective and refueled lungs. Melodramatic? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. That's why we continue to return.
(edited from the original Field Notes by Heidi Ruby Miller newsletter, April 2008)